Everton, Farhad Moshiri, the latest investment talks and what happens next

There is rarely a perfect day when it comes to Everton in recent times but even in that context, Tuesday was exceptional.

As the club searched for its latest manager, star players were linked with an exit when contracts for new recruits were scrapped. Then just as the supporters were trying to catch a break, a national newspaper in the evening spotted that the club was up for sale.

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A story in The Guardian claimed that Farhad Moshiri is ready to sell Everton for £500m ($620m) and has commissioned sports consultancy Deloitte to handle the process.

About 20 minutes later, the club interviewed Moshiri in conversation with fan advisory board (FAB) chairman Jazz Bal, who scored ahead of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham United, in which he insisted he did not want to sell.

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It comes as Everton are embroiled in a civil war, with the board told to sit out their last home game, and in the midst of a relegation battle.

Everton fans protest against the board during the game against Southampton (Image: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“The club is not for sale but I am talking to top investors, with real quality, to bridge the gap on the stadium’s finances,” Moshiri said. “I can do it myself (funding the new stadium) but the reason I want to do it is to bring the biggest sporting investors into Everton – for some of the reasons the fans want: better, more talent.

“I am committed to this club, not only the stadium, but to join the elite. We are close to the agreement. We are very close to the financing of the stadium and I hope to be able to announce it to you soon. It will never sell the club. .”

In short, it looked as clear as mud.

So let’s try and pick out what’s really going on.

At least publicly, Moshiri has always insisted that Everton are not officially for sale.

Since he took over in 2016, Everton have spent almost £700m on transfers and are now looking for their eighth permanent manager in that time.

He has repeatedly said his top priority is securing funding for the club’s new stadium project at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is scheduled to be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season.

Moshiri has financed the construction costs so far but is looking for additional investment needed to complete the project.

A former major investor, Alisher Usmanov, was punished for his close ties to Vladimir Putin after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


However, it is also true that the situation has sometimes been more nuanced.

It was revealed in June that Moshiri had entered into talks with US consortium KAM Sports, led by Minneapolis-based property developer Maciek Kaminski, last year to secure funding for the stadium, but those talks have led to a full takeover bid. to go. The group is believed to have valued Everton at around £500m.

KAM Sports secured the exclusive on further takeover discussions, suggesting that Moshiri is at least open to the prospect of a full sale. But that period passed without agreement.

Negotiations continued for a long time, initially with the aim of reviving the agreement, but by November, confidence in reaching an agreement on all sides had completely diminished. Moshiri himself lost faith in the group’s ability to complete the takeover and negotiations ended abruptly. There is little hope of a deal being revived. Last month, KAM Sports completed the takeover of top Greek club Panetolikos.

The athletec on Everton’s manager and ownership situation…

Although his initial reluctance to listen to the proposals suggested that the road to full intervention was not completely closed, Moshiri has since remained steadfast in his position. His priority was securing investment and finding someone who could help launch the project. Selling a minority stake was not really off the table.

The developments of the last days, at least in the way it is reported, are the continuation of this process.

Deloitte has long been linked with Everton in several areas but declined to comment when contacted The Athletic. The group’s sports business arm has undergone a change of focus and leadership over the past year, with a greater emphasis on investments and acquisitions in football.

Sources, who did not want to be named during the transfer of private conversations, close to Moshiri and other parts of the club reiterated their desire for foreign investment and cited his latest interview with FAB as evidence.


Everton are having a terrible season on the pitch and are looking for another new manager (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Talking about a serious, formal process shows that positive steps are being taken behind the scenes.

Moshiri certainly wants equity investment to continue the remarkable progress in the construction of the club’s new stadium. On that front, it looks like he’s getting closer to getting what he needs.

The British-Iranian billionaire summed it up in a video interview on Tuesday. “It just brings more expertise in terms of global sponsorship, commercial development,” he said. “A lot of professional sports investors have this pool of knowledge, and that’s what makes it safe for Everton.”

A pioneer is a group that already owns other football clubs, and has significant importance in a different sport. If the deal goes through, the group wants a representative with a seat on Everton’s board.

Group executives previously traveled to Liverpool in December to be shown around the club’s main sites by Everton officials, and talks of acquiring a minority stake have continued since then.

The group is by far the most advanced bidder, but there are others circling.

A consortium based in the north-west of England has contacted Moshiri to register an interest in a smaller investment and another wealthy US group, including Everton supporters, is also considering a bid.

It looks like a period of change and international attention on the ailing Merseyside club won’t let up any time soon.

Moshiri described it as an “existential” moment in the club’s history. If that’s true, the odds don’t get any higher than that.

By bringing new investment, perhaps even new expertise to the board, he will hope for a timely step in the right direction.

(Top photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)


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